What Is eCommerce Brand Strategy And Why You Should Have One


Ever felt like your business wasn’t converting the amount of the sales you expected?

Or, how about feeling like your brand just doesn’t align with the vision you have?

The culprit could be a lack of or poorly defined eCommerce brand strategy.

In this post, I’m going to be going over.

  • What is an eCommerce brand strategy and why it’s important?
  • What is often involved in eCommerce brand strategy?
  • And, why it helps you reach your business goals.

But first, let me give you some backstory.

A Backstory

In the earlier stages of my business, I worked with a variety of business owners. From coaches, and personal brands up to more enterprise clients. This is before I narrowed down my focus by doing my own brand strategy. But I digress.

Sometimes I would focus on the whole entire experience and other times I would focus on one portion of the experience. If you’ve been following my business for a while you know at one point I stopped doing branding and moved on to focus only on helping other creatives with web development.

It was during that time where I was working on projects that had no purpose. Whether the designer never considered it or the client just didn’t have the budget.

There was this important element that was missing. For me, it made no sense to invest in a custom-built website with no plan for how it would give you an ROI. 

But because I was only responsible for a portion of the project. I really couldn’t step in and say anything, and that’s what frustrated me the most.

When I work on anything for a business, I want it to add value.

It’s important to me that my clients have a well-thought-out experience that gives them ROI. Not something that just looks pretty and wouldn’t add any value to their business. 

If the basis for why a project needs to happen doesn’t make sense. I will gladly bow out and refer them to someone else. It’s just part of one of my brand values that what we create must serve a purpose. 

Because of that, I now make it a requirement that my clients have a well-thought-out strategy. The risk is just too great for their business not to have one.

Now that you know the backstory, let’s dive into what is a luxury brand strategy and what it entails.

What is eCommerce Brand Strategy?

You may have heard the term brand strategy being thrown around a lot. As it’s gaining more recognition in business as “the secret” to helping brands really stand out. Brands that don’t have an effective strategy in place often struggle in the market and will get drowned out by those who do. 

When it comes to defining eCommerce strategy – you’ll come across a variety of definitions and interpretations of what it means. 

eCommerce brand strategy is essentially…

“A clearly defined path to cultivate, connect and convert your dream customers into paying customers.”

The overarching viewpoint of strategy – setting a path to get to an end goal. In order to get to the end goal, there are several steps in between (the journey) that have to be established. 

Without an effective strategy, you simply can not design the visual elements of a brand that makes an impact. Without an effective strategy, you can not effectively market your message. Ensuring that it lands with the right audience.

Yes, there are brands that just go straight into the design of a brand with no strategy in mind. But they often struggle to connect with their audience and get frustrated that their hard work isn’t paying off.  

They then find themselves months down the road doing another rebrand/redesign. Because they skipped the steps to create a more aligned brand. That specifically speaks to their ideal customers. 

What Is Included In eCommerce Brand Strategy?

Now that you’ve gotten a backstory, a definition, and the importance of having an eCommerce strategy for your brand. Let’s go over some of the elements of what is included in eCommerce brand strategy. I’ll do my best to explain this in non-industry terms. 

There are multiple parts to eCommerce brand strategy; you may already have some of these in place. In that case, it’s just going back and making sure that it’s still aligned with your business objectives.

Curating Your Internal Brand

Your internal brand strategy is the core element of your brand. Such as your purpose, mission, vision, and values. Clearly defining this part of your brand helps act as the guiding line of your business. It will also be referred to by your team frequently to make sure that everyone is following the vision of the brand.

You’ll also use this when you do collaborations or partnerships. So you can make sure that your brand maintains its integrity and holds true to its vision.

Getting Clear About Your Target Audience

Everyone is not your customer. With such a wide range of businesses, it’s important to get specific about who you are serving. This will help your business be able to market your brand effectively to the right customers because you’ll know what to say to them. Also, knowing your target audience will help you create better products. Leading to more expansion of your business. 

When you know your customers you’ll know what to create for them that inspires them to purchase your products. Sometimes brands start with their product first before understanding if there is a customer that wants that product. Which could result in lost revenue, months, and years of frustration.

You can avoid that by focusing on your ideal customer and their wants.

Having a clear target audience also allows you to curate a focused email list with your biggest fans. Who are happy to buy when you send out your newsletter or launch new products.

Also read:

Understanding Your Competitors

Knowing about your competitors isn’t just for snooping on their business. But it’s important to know who they are so you can differentiate yourself from them. Some business owners think they need to look similar to their competitors. When it should be the opposite, you want your ideal customers to understand the difference between you and your competitors. If you look the same, then you’ll compete on irrelevant things. 

Do you know what makes you different from your competitors? If so, great, but can your customers tell the difference? If not, you have a positioning problem.

Assess Market Gaps

Finding a gap in the market and filling it can be a great win for your business. Because you’ll be either the only one doing something different or one of the very few. Allowing you to become the go-to, knowing what gaps your brand can fill. It Will set your business even further apart from competitors.

For example, Apple saw a gap in the market and went after it. They have now become one of the world’s top brands and innovators. 

Build Your Brand Personality

Did you know brands have personalities? Yes, whether that is fun and whimsical or more refined. Building the personality of your brand gives you a basis from which you’ll communicate your message. If your brand is refined, then you wouldn’t speak in a loud tone with big bright colors. Which would be a turnoff to your customers.

Your brand’s personality would also be conveyed through the written words you use in every interaction of your business, from social media posts to customer emails. 

The personality of your brand is baked into each interaction your customer experiences in your business.

Establish Your Brand Strategy MESSAGING

Now that you clearly know your audience, what are you going to say to them? How can you deliver the right message at the right time? We’ve all experienced it when you’re scrolling on social media all of a sudden. An ad captures your attention, and it’s speaking right to you. Next thing you know you’re on their website looking at their products. 

Recently this happened to me when an ad from Our Place Pan caught my attention. They were sharing all the benefits and of course, the pan is just gorgeous. So I went right to their website to check it out.

Your messaging strategy will be the foundation of your eCommerce marketing strategy.

Craft Your Brand Story

The way customers connect with your brand is through your story. It will build a deeper relationship with your customers. As they will find relatable elements of your story within themselves. Once your customers relate to your story. It will lead to higher engagement and increased trust in your business. 

Your brand story is unique to you and no other company can have the exact story. But you need to craft it in a way that is digestible to your ideal customers. They will most likely remember your business because of your brand story. They will also be more likely to tell others about your story, giving you more exposure.

Bonus: Developing your eCommerce Brand Strategy AWARENESS

As a bonus topic, I wanted to include some information about building your brand’s awareness strategy. If you want to expand to a wider market, become known in a new area. You need to think about your brand’s awareness strategy. 

Part of your awareness strategy is discovering where your ideal customers are hanging out. Whether that is online, through certain publications, or in communities. You want to know where they are so you can be there too! 

But showing up doesn’t matter as much as knowing how you will gauge the success of your interaction. Which you could measure through email sign-ups that lead to increased sales. Or higher traffic that increases conversions. 

Your brand awareness strategy will come from defining all the previous elements of brand strategy components that we discussed. 

Great Customer Experience

Your customers are looking for not only a great brand that is trustworthy. They are also looking for a great experience, in a world where fast can often come at the sacrifice of service. When it comes to eCommerce the tradition of a great experience still holds true.

According to PWC:

73% of all people point to customer experience as an important factor in their purchasing decisions. Yet only 49% of U.S. consumers say companies provide a good customer experience today.

As you can see there is still an opportunity to impress your customer. So don’t forget the experience from the first greeting to the ongoing relationship. Each interaction matters.

Conclusion

After nailing down those aspects of your brand then it’s onto the brand identity creation. This includes your visual identity, the logo, color selections, typography, and more. 

Creating the visual elements becomes easier because you clearly understand your brand vision, its customers, your competition, and how you’re different. 

How would it feel to have a more aligned brand that when you market your audience responds consistently? Leading to higher sales and better brand authority. I’d say pretty good. 

That’s the point I wanted to make. That it takes a lot of behind-the-scenes work to craft something truly brilliant for your business. When given the appropriate time and development you can have a brand that won’t need several rebrands within a short period. 

You’ll also be able to grow and build a stronger brand over time as you become more attuned to your audience and their needs. 

k-tmc

Hi, I'm Karen, the founder + Shopify/Klaviyo expert behind The May Creative. I help eCommerce brand owners craft elevated & high-end eCommerce experiences on Shopify & Klaviyo. So they can scale their business & reach their next level of success. Connect to learn more about working together. Or check out the other articles below and listen to the podcast.

Karen

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